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RAUK - Archived Forum - Reptile Digital photography

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Reptile Digital photography:

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djp_phillips
Senior Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 180


View other posts by djp_phillips
Posted: 30 Jan 2006
I live where that red dot is on the french map on my pic under my name.
I'm posting this to ask people what equipement you use. I had up until
recently a NIKON COOLPIX 5000 which was ok, but not super. I now have
a CANON Powershot A95. But these are not really the ideal thing.

I dream of the day to upgrade to a CANON D350 or similar...

What eqipement do you people use, and what would you recomend to get
the results needed (speed, sharpness...).

Also does anyone want to sell their cameras as I would be interested.


Reptiles & Amphibians of France:
www.herpfrance.com

European Field Herping Community:
www.euroherp.com
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


View other posts by Vicar
Posted: 30 Jan 2006

A fair question this.....but probably a question without a definitive answer. I can offer some thoughts from experience.

I would personally recommend an Single Lens Reflex digital camera (you look at the optical image thru the lens, rather than on a screen). I find that I throw away far fewer 'out of focus' images now I've upgraded to an SLR.

I have found that megapixels do matter. Especially when you want to digitally crop or zoom onto a part of an image, then high MPs help. I would suggest 8+, although you can certainly get good results with fewer.

Lens choice is wide open. It depends on what you are shooting (both subject and effect required) and the distance from which you shoot. The general consensus on the forum appears to be a dedicated macro lens, although a mid-range telephoto and the use of close-up 'filter' lenses is a cheaper option.

For in-situ shots, beware heavy body/lens combinations as you may be off-balance and holding your 'shot' position for some time.

In conclusion, I think your goal of a Canon EOS 350 would be an excellent choice. It has very nearly the quality of its big brother (20D) but is much lighter.

Some Canon's do have a very loud shutter, but I've never found this a problem with reptiles (especially snakes ). Go to a camera shop and see how different models 'feel' is my best advice.

Vicar38747.5789236111
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
djp_phillips
Senior Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 180


View other posts by djp_phillips
Posted: 30 Jan 2006
Thank you, my father has a D10 and D20, he may give me his D10...

For the moment I only have that CANON Powershot A95
Reptiles & Amphibians of France:
www.herpfrance.com

European Field Herping Community:
www.euroherp.com
Berus
Member
Joined: 30 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 3


View other posts by Berus
Posted: 30 Jan 2006
Hi Djp,
I personnaly own a Canon 350 D and I find it great - well the viewfinder is rather small and you may encounter a few trouble with the exposure when you're facing the sun. I use it on reptiles with the 100 mm Canon macro lens and sometimes a 380 EX flash device.
If you were to use your father d 10, I'm sure that any macro lens, even from a third party (Sigma, Tamron) would also deliver great results.
When the subject is moving and when the light is poor, you cannot beat a dslr.
But it's also the most expensive and heavy (even a 350 d) solution. And with a dslr, depth of field matters again : the head of the snake may be razor sharp in focus, and the entire body blured ; naturalists who are not in photograhy (yes, they are some) could find it strange.
The last big difference with compact cameras is that you  cannot use the screen before you take the picture, which would be easier (and safer...) for macro shots.
Eventually, and whatever be your choice, I would advice you to make a little trip to Andorra...

All that's goldfinch does not glitter
Not all those who migrate are lost
djp_phillips
Senior Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 180


View other posts by djp_phillips
Posted: 30 Jan 2006
Why Andorra, are the cameras cheaper? or did you mean to go skiing?
Reptiles & Amphibians of France:
www.herpfrance.com

European Field Herping Community:
www.euroherp.com
Berus
Member
Joined: 30 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 3


View other posts by Berus
Posted: 30 Jan 2006
Both of course !
But yes, prices are said to be really lower there than in France (there's a limit to what you can take back with you without paying tariffs).

All that's goldfinch does not glitter
Not all those who migrate are lost
*SNAKE*
Senior Member
Joined: 16 May 2004
No. of posts: 220


View other posts by *SNAKE*
Posted: 30 Jan 2006

yes i agree with vicer just have a look at his pics there awesome and you cant go wrong with his advice

  paul

 


PAUL SMITH     
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


View other posts by Vicar
Posted: 30 Jan 2006

PAUL !

How you doing mate ?  Out of hibernation already ?


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
*SNAKE*
Senior Member
Joined: 16 May 2004
No. of posts: 220


View other posts by *SNAKE*
Posted: 30 Jan 2006

im ok now hope you have been keeping well m8

fancy a trip out this year 

   paul


PAUL SMITH     
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 31 Jan 2006
The camera itself is only a small percentage in the creation of a good picture. Although expensive cameras can make the job easier with more flexability and the ability to use different lenses it's really down to the person behind the camera. I've seen many poor quality photos from top notch gear and some fantastic photos taken on cheap compacts.
O-> O+>
GemmaJF
Admin Group
Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


View other posts by GemmaJF
Posted: 31 Jan 2006

As a non-expert photographer I can only add that I'm very happy I bought a Canon 350D. The body might be a bit small for some people though, but I like it as it is very light to carry in the field. I was pleased with the results I was getting last year, hopefully this year I'll add some refinement to my images.

The shutter does make a funny noise, but to be honest it has never spooked a subject, usually just made them look up in interest

 

This is one of my favourite pictures from last year taken in our garden, the vivi lizards expression was due to it looking up after the shutter fired on the previous shot:

 

GemmaJF38748.2324652778
Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 31 Jan 2006
That is a beautiful picture Gemma!!!

Please don't get me wrong , i'm not saying i'm an expert at all , far from it . All i'm saying is great pics can be taken on cheap compacts if the photographer takes the time.

I've taken my fair share of duff pics on my expensive camera too , and the reason was my own lack of knowledge and thinking that the camera will do the job for me.

O-> O+>
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 31 Jan 2006
With regards to shutter noise I have noticed that the canon 20D's shutter Does spook birds .
O-> O+>
GemmaJF
Admin Group
Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


View other posts by GemmaJF
Posted: 31 Jan 2006

Hi Al, I didn't take it that way, sorry if I seemed to! I was trying to say that with no knowledge at all I was getting good piccies with the 350D, or at least ones I was happy with . I like the 350D as it seems to help me along with improving my shots, starting from letting the camera do it all to playing with some of the settings. I used to be so disappointed with my point and click digi, had all the opportunities but the piccies were always rubbish

Still haven't had a chance to use my new macro lens.. soon I hope though


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 31 Jan 2006
Hi Gemma!
Oh no worries , I know
I wanted to make it clear that i'm far from expert myself.

I'm so pleased that the 350D has turned out to be the one for you . I'm looking forward to seeing those pics taken with the 60mm

O-> O+>
djp_phillips
Senior Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 180


View other posts by djp_phillips
Posted: 31 Jan 2006
Do you expect the 350D to drop in price any time soon?
Does anyone want to sell their cameras?
Reptiles & Amphibians of France:
www.herpfrance.com

European Field Herping Community:
www.euroherp.com
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


View other posts by Vicar
Posted: 31 Jan 2006

Daniel,

I'm not sure what your budget is...but 350Ds seem to go for between 400-500 GBP on ebay. And 90mm macro lenses for about 50. So you're looking at about 500+ish for that combination. Good value for money, in my humble opinion....if you can manage it.

Steve


Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
djp_phillips
Senior Member
Joined: 09 Jan 2006
No. of posts: 180


View other posts by djp_phillips
Posted: 31 Jan 2006
I'd love to, but I have only just got a powershot, but I need the right
equipement for this year, otherwise there's no point in pretending I will
get good photos... living in deny...
Reptiles & Amphibians of France:
www.herpfrance.com

European Field Herping Community:
www.euroherp.com
Tony Phelps
Forum Specialist
Joined: 09 Mar 2003
No. of posts: 575


View other posts by Tony Phelps
Posted: 13 Feb 2006
I use and love my Nikon D100, and due to the other Nikon releases this should come down in price.
One tip re Nikon macro lense, go for the old 55mm rather than th new 60mm, tis better, and you can pick em up cheaper. My favourite lens is the 200mm macro, but a lot of bucks.
Only worry about pixels if you wish to market or publish your pics, then 8+ is fine, some agencies first insisted on 12, then reealised the limitations, i.e. we are not all tht rich. However, Nikon are bringing out a 12megapixel for around 1200, which shows how the price is dropping. Compare with what the D2 cost originally.

Anyway happy shooting, youpoor souls still have to wait for the herps to emerge - plenty going on here in South Africa.

Cheers

Tony
B Lewis
Krag Committee
Joined: 24 Aug 2004
No. of posts: 146


View other posts by B Lewis
Posted: 18 Feb 2006

Did anyone see the grass snake picture on the Herp. Journal, I took that with a 300D.. I like the camera.. It's now very cheap, okay outdated by the 350D but i like to think I get my monies worth.. Here's another chance to see what you can do with it..

Brett.

Brett Lewis

 

 


Lewis Ecology
Brett Lewis Photography
Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group
DICE - University of Kent

- Reptile Digital photography

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